Producers Strip It All Off With VH1’s Dating Naked
Society has certainly changed. What was thought of as indecent or out of bounds now seems no big deal, and reality TV producers are following that radical lead with VH1’s Dating Naked.
When daters strip away their clothes and reveal their ultimate, honest naked selves, the results are truly surprising on VH1’s Dating Naked. Even though it is true that now, more than ever, we’re “most connected” via our phones, internet and emails, it’s actually harder than ever for daters to make a genuine intimate connection. Online dates, blind dates, and the latest dating apps all make the dating conundrum all the more confusing. Today it’s hard to see people for who they really are, let alone figuring out their true intentions. In summer 2014 a new dating experiment gave love seekers the radical opportunity where they bared it all before baring their souls. VH1’s 10-episode one-hour series, Dating Naked: Playing for Keeps explores the art of romance, free of preconceived notions, stereotypes – and clothes. The show is set on a beautiful and romantic Tropical Island and is hosted by Amy Paffrath. Season two of the series features primary daters, Kerri and Chris, on their quest for love. The rules of the show are as follows; each week Kerri and Chris go on two dates. These two new men and two new women will have a chance to bare it all in their chance to ignite a flame with these primary daters. Kerri and Chris will each pick the one dater they feel they “connected” with most, to “keep” and ask them to remain on the island for another week. These connections are put to the test when hot new singles are introduced every week. With these new daters and the “kept” daters vying for the coveted keeper spots, can genuine deep feelings begin to develop? It’s hard to tell. But can Kerri and Chris handle the competition? Or will temptation and jealousy run rampant on the island? And of course it will, it’s reality television.
Kerri, 25, is a charismatic blonde from Ohio. She moved to Tampa after a series of unfortunate events. After jokingly daring her boyfriend, of two years, to get a girl’s number in a bar… he USED the number and cheated on her with the girl she hand picked for him. Oh, the irony. It gets worse, she was hit by a car while rollerblading and was nearly killed. A year later, she’s on this relaxing resort in the Philippines hoping to find love among the needy losers who won’t treat her right. She seems very confident, saying: “This is who I am, this is my body, I own it” and “I’m an adventurous girl with a great job. I’m a catch. I think.” Chris, 27, the Adam to her Eve is a romantic at heart and loved his ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately, when he was young and stupid he didn’t take her or her dreams seriously so she left him. He’s regretted it ever since. Chris is a good old Connecticut bro living in San Diego.
Vh1 makes an effort to blur out any nudity, boobs and other privates are hidden on the show otherwise it wouldn’t be allowed to air. Though as you can imagine, watching naked couples go on first dates is about as awkward as intimacy gets. When a show totally follows around nude characters 24/7, there are bound to be problems. After season 1 aired an angry dater, Jessie Nizewitz, sued the series after editors forgot to blur her vagina and anus on national television. The reality dater furiously asked for $10 million dollars from VH1 to cover her emotional damage. Producers probably weren’t hoping for negative controversy, but instead for plenty of next day office chatter and they got it thanks to this infamous moment, as well as the show’s hysterically awkward and goofy premise. Audiences can see at least one or two shocking moments from the second season such as the penis pump salesman who pumps himself up, literally, before going on date with Kerri, random boners, cock-ring accessories, booty-hole bar swizzle straws, and even one of the couples making paper mache molds of each other’s butts.
When it comes to the show’s reception New York Magazine’s Allison Davis wrote that the show “pushes the boundaries of courtship and creatively expands the list of activities you can do in the nude,” but also criticized the show’s pool scenes for being too revealing. Metro’s Emily Hewett described it as “the most awkward show on television.” A more negative review from Time described the show as a typical reality dating show “once you (and the contestants) get used to the nudity gimmick”. But what does this show really mean for the dating world? Is it in fact a successful attempt to bring those looking to “connect” together? Or is it just a ploy to further finance the lavish lifestyles of the mega-minds/corporations behind reality TV shows?
Watch Naked Reality TV
We’re always fans of anything that’s filthy and gorgeous, and Dating Naked: Playing for Keeps certainly has its share of those types of moments. Though to be completely honest, the truth is we don’t care whether Chris and Kerri find love, what we do care about is the innovation and evolution of naked reality TV shows. Though it may be hysterically funny and was probably created with those intentions, viewers, critics, and producers alike have to respect and appreciate the courage it takes for these daters to voluntarily go on naked dates with complete strangers, surrounded by cameras for the whole world to see, knowing the possibility that this could either go completely wrong and be the worst experience of their lives or go extremely well and gain the respect of viewers on their couches everywhere. Being one of the few shows of its kind (the others being Naked Buying and Naked and Afraid) Dating Naked could potentially be the beginning of a trend in which producers strip plots to the bare bones, so whether it involves wilderness survival, buying a home or – in this VH1 entry – meeting the opposite sex, clothing is no longer required.
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